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WHAT IS WATCHMAN ALL ABOUT THEN: Well, for those of you not in the know, this was a story created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons in the mid 1980's, about a hand full of heroes trying to find their way in a dark and strange new world. Plus, in addition to this, these heroes were based on the Charlton heroes, and it is set in an alternate Earth of Alan and Dave's joint devising.
THE CHARLTON HEROES: Over the first couple of years, Charlton tried its best to find its footing in the innovative world of comic book publications. They released kids comics, western comics, love comics, celebrity comics, and anthology titles too. But it wasn't until they acquired from Marvel such creators as Dick Giordano, Steve Ditko, and many, many, more, that they then began to expand upon their existing roster of superheroes, and started to become a recognized 'name' in their own rite.
THE WATCHMAN COMETH: Originally, Alan wanted to use the MLJ Comics' 'Mighty Crusader' heroes in this new murder mystery he was constructing with his old 2001AD pal, Dave Gibbons. However, the then head honcho of DC, Dick Giordano, told him to use the Chalton heroes instead, and not to kill any of them off.
OOPS: You see, Alan thought that for his tale to work properly as a concept, the reader had to immediately recognize the basic motivations and archetypes behind 'his heroes', so that they would 'feel for them' when he 'harmed' them within his tale . Moreover, Alan also wanted a slightly more political slant to his project too, and took a governmental concept that Paul Levitz honed during his time on a Justice Society of America, and titivated it within his works.
So what next you might wonder? Huh? How will this 'Before Watchmen' stunt play out for DC? Well, personally speaking of course, it can either do one of two things. Firstly, it will turn out cr*p, and people will just ignore it over time (like 'DK2'). Or else, some of the stories will turn out quite good, and people will still ignore it over time. Agreed you hairy git?